This post is going to sound slightly cruel. In fact, it may make me seem heartless.
Well, I'm not. But after having the opportunity to learn more about Hemingway and his life- I've come to the sound conclusion: I don't like the man. Not one bit more than I like wisdom tooth extraction. Trust me, I know.
It's not that I hate Hemingway. Nevermind his lack of imagery, or his constant offenses towards God and religion. I can understand his being fed up with hipocrisy. Its the hateful bitterness and spine-less attitude that characterized him as a person that makes him irritably intolerable in my eyes. He lived a life of blame, finding the culprit for his own failures in the women he married for money, used and then divorced.
Granted, he was smitten over an older nurse that moved on to fry bigger fish. I get it. Heartbreak hurts. But why don't you grow some character? Build a bridge, make it golden if you like, and walk over it. You can't continue dwelling in a well of self-pity, because you not only make yourself loathsome to others, you feel even worse about yourself.
I've had to read several of his works lately, including "The Snows of Kilimajaro" and "A Clean well-lighted Place" and it's safe to say I'm less than impressed. I'm pretty sure I had a full REM cycle during "The Old Man and the Sea." His writings are stereotypical of a person who was not happy with his route in life, and instead of taking the reigns of his own life and making his own path, he simply sinks into the temporary anesthetic of alcohol.
Taking in consideration the piece of work he was, it boggles my mind that he won a Nobel Prize. I mean, it's beyond my mental grasp. So a bitter middle aged man can pen his thoughts about death and prejudiced/racial slurs? Big deal. So can a lot of other coward bloggers and "writers" that are highly close minded and self absorbed. That doesn't mean they deserve the most prestigious award of accomplishment, or that in any way shape or form constitute a role model. It's like giving a monkey a diamond ring. He'll fling it back at you covered in his own feces.
A lot of his defenders say he spoke about things other people don't want to acknowledge, and that gave him his talented edge. That's a whole lotta opium talking. There's plenty of people that talk about things most people don't give the time of day. Jose Luis Borges was an excellent writer of stimulating, innovative perspectives. Hey, even I blog before you today unafraid of the public, and the whole barrage of hate mail I'll probably receive after this post. ;) In my opinion, you can't separate the author from the person. The person reflects his views in his writings, however subtle. And Hemingway's views are as twisted as a pretzel of death.
Again- I do give him some slack-(so keep your pitchforks in the barn, people) he had mental issues and committed suicide in his 60s. But throughout his life he never gave anything back to humanity except writings of despair and hateful regret. If that's art, I could just watch back to back episodes of Dr. Phil.